Onion bhajias

Madhur Jaffrey loves Nikita Gulhanes authentic onion bhajias, which are quick to make and the perfect side dish to cook while a curry is bubbling away
Onion bhajias
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 130 g gram flour, also known as chickpea flour
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 1½ tsp garlic, grated or finely crushed
  • 1½ tsp ginger, finely grated
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¾ tsp hot chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, halved and finely sliced
  • olive oil or sunflower oil, to deep fry

Tips and Suggestions

Other vegetables can be used, such as slices of aubergine, cauliflower and broccoli florets, mushrooms or even chillies. Bhajias are perfect with tomato ketchup or tamarind chutney.


1. Place the gram flour in a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water. Add the yogurt and beat together to create a thick paste.

2. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, curry leaves and chopped coriander. Mix well and add salt to taste.

3. Fold the onion slices into the batter, making sure they are well coated.

4. Set a wok or deep pan for deep-frying over a medium heat and pour in the oil. Test it is hot enough by dropping in a small piece of batter - it should sizzle immediately. Have a small bowl of water to hand.

5. Working quickly, take small pinches of onions and making sure they are well coated in the batter, drop three or four into the hot oil. Some will form spidery clusters, others may separate into individual slices. Cook the bhajias for 20-30 seconds before turning with a slotted spoon. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, turning occasionally, until they are a golden colour. Remove and drain in a colander.

6. Wet your fingers, then pick up another pinch of battered onions and repeat the process. Serve hot.

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